5 Tips for Choosing Compression Wear for Cyclists

5 Tips for choosing compression clothing for cycling
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Compression clothes are great for physical activities, like cycling, because they support your muscles. Their snug fit increases blood flow to your muscles to give them more oxygen while you exercise. 

Studies have shown that wearing compression clothes for physical activities can reduce muscle fatigue and help you recover faster.

But choosing the right compression clothes can be hard. As someone who’s tried lots of compression wear as a cyclist, I know it can be tough. 

That’s why I made this guide—to help you figure out how to choose the best compression clothes for your cycling adventures. 

Types Of Cycling Compression Clothing

One of the key things about compression wear is that they’re built to support certain muscles. 

For instance, shorts, tights, socks, base layers, or arm sleeves, each type of compression gear supports different parts of the body. 

This helps blood flow better, stops muscles from shaking too much, and makes it easier to stay steady when moving around.

Here are the various types of compression gear and what muscle groups they support: 

  • Shorts & tights: compression shorts and tights support the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, which helps keep you stable and less tired when you run or pedal your bike.
  • Socks: Compression socks mainly help the lower legs, like the calves and ankles, to have better blood flow and less swelling, especially if you do sports that use your legs a lot, like jumping, running or cycling.
  • Base layers: Base layers support the core muscles, like the abdomen, lower back, and chest. They help you keep a good posture and stay steady when you’re doing lots of different physical activities.
  • Arm sleeves: Arm sleeves help your arm muscles, like your biceps and triceps, to recover faster and feel less sore after activities like playing basketball, tennis, or lifting weights.

5 Tips For Choosing Compression Clothing

Consider The Level Of Compression

How tight compression clothing is really matters because this helps to determine how well it works and if it’s right for what you’re doing. 

Usually, different compression clothes have different levels of compression, from light to very tight for a firm hold. 

The level of compression or how tight they are decides how snug they fit on your body and how much pressure they put on your muscles.

The right amount of compression for you depends on what you’re going to do and what you find comfortable. 

For instance, light compression is great for everyday activities where you need to move freely, like walking, yoga, or hiking. Because the “relatively-loose fit” gives a bit of support and helps blood flow without feeling too tight. 

But if you’re doing serious workouts or need help recovering after intense activities like running, cycling, weight training, etc., you might need firmer compression because they give more support and help prevent muscle fatigue, so you don’t easily get tired.

Check The Material

The second most important factor I like to think of is the material for the compression gear. 

As you’d expect, compression clothes are made from different materials, and this can contribute to the comfort, performance and durability of the outfit. And of course, not all materials are equal. 

First off, the best materials need to have a lot of stretch, are very breathable and can wick sweat away from the body. 

Materials like spandex or elastane are great because they blend well with other fabrics to give lots of stretch, so you can move freely. And the clothes fit snug but not too tight. 

Also, moisture-wicking materials, like polyester or nylon, are still good choices since they keep you dry and reduce the chance of irritation or discomfort when you wear them for a long time.

As usual, the right kind of material for your compression clothes depends on what you’re going to use them for. 

For instance, if you’re doing hard workouts or it’s really hot, go for fabrics that good moisture-wicking materials that keep you cool and dry. 

But if you want your clothes to last long and keep their shape, then you should choose clothes with more spandex or elastane. 

Ensure A Proper Fit

It’s really important to get the right size for your compression gear because when your clothes fit right, they give good support to your muscles and help blood flow better, which means you can perform better without feeling uncomfortable.

If your clothes are too small, they might make it hard for you to move and probably affect your blood flow. And if they’re too big, they won’t give your muscles enough support or compression. 

If your compression gear fits well, you’ll feel better after workouts, be less tired, and perform better when you’re active. Make sure you choose the right size by checking the sizing charts from the manufacturer. 

Look for Targeted Compression

As you may already know, it’s best to choose compression clothing that targets the muscle groups you’ll mostly be engaging during workout sessions or other physical activities you do. 

For instance, as a cyclist, I like to wear compression clothes that focus on my leg muscles like the hamstrings and calves because these are the muscles I mostly engage during cycling. 

So, before deciding what compression gear you need, it helps to think of the activities you need them for. This will help you figure out which muscles need the most support and where you need targeted compression. 

Prioritize Visibility and reflectivity

Visibility is something every cyclist thinks about because bright colors and reflective parts on clothes makes us stand out on the road. So that we are clearly visible to drivers and other road users. 

If you need compression clothes for cycling, consider getting one with bright colors and reflective parts. 

These reflective parts, like strips or logos, catch the light from car headlights or streetlights to make you more visible and reduce the chance of accidents.

Mind Your Budget

Lastly, you need to think about your budget because prices can vary a lot between different brands. Some brands are cheaper, while others are more expensive. 

But just because something costs more doesn’t always mean it’s better, and the same goes for cheaper options.

If you can afford to buy expensive compression gear, that’s great. But if you’re on a tighter budget, there are still plenty of good-quality options available. Also, watch out for sales and special offers to save money on the brands and products you like. 

The important thing is to find compression clothes that work well for you and fit into your budget, whether they’re from a fancy brand or a more affordable one.

Wrapping Up

Choosing the right amount of compression all boils down to your comfort level and how much support you need to perform at your best.

They also need to fit well, and support the muscles you use the most. For instance, if the clothes are too big, they won’t give your muscles enough support or compression. 

You also need to think of the quality. It’s good to pick ones that are good quality even if they cost a bit more, but you’ll also find many good-quality options at great prices.

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BikeCrunch offers the best riding tips and guides to help you get the most out of your cycling adventures. We offer in-depth bike and accessory reviews, unbiased buying guides, how-to guides, and much more. Mountain biking, road biking, commuting, touring, and recreational cycling are some of the topics we cover.